- Heinz has enlisted past viral stars to market the release of six limited-time sauces that are part of its “15 Minutes of Flavor” campaign, per details shared with Marketing Dive.
- Rebecca Black, William Hung and Kyle Craven, a.k.a. “Bad Luck Brian,” will promote Black Garlic Ranch, Bangin’ Brewery Mustard and Yuzu Wasabi, respectively, in paid and organic assets across TikTok and Instagram.
- Heinz will release a new flavor each month at select restaurants, with the list of participating locations and a “15 Minutes of Flavor” memory game available on a microsite. The effort follows the recent launch of Heinz's first unified global brand platform, “It Has to be Heinz.”
With “15 Minutes of Flavor,” Heinz is again offering a take on “drop culture,” where brands build buzz around limited-time product releases. Previously, Heinz tapped into — and punned on — drop culture for a collection of thrifted clothes with ketchup stains that were sold via a partnership with online resale platform ThredUp.
Central to the new effort is a social media push that piggybacks on viral sensations of the past who had the prototypical 15 minutes of fame, like “Friday” singer Rebecca Black and Kyle Craven, the subject of the “Bad Luck Brian” meme. While William Hung’s rendition of “She Bangs” came in 2004 as part of an “American Idol” audition, Craven and Black (who is now a pop star in her own right) found fame in the early 2010s — giving the campaign a range of nostalgic points to draw on.
Heinz’s unique flavor combinations for its sauces, which also include Hatch Chili Ranch, Creamy Chimichurri and Harissa Aioli, were inspired by FMCG research that found 70% of consumers consider themselves adventurous eaters who seek a greater variety of flavors from restaurants and brands. The CPG marketer is seeking real-time feedback around the sauces that could inform which ones eventually hit retail shelves.
“As a consumer-obsessed brand at the forefront of food culture, we want to hijack fans’ behavior as they seek out new and unique flavors at their favorite restaurants,” said Diane Mays Doty, associate brand manager for Heinz Away from Home, in a press release.
“15 Minutes of Flavor” was developed by The Kitchen while Starcom’s Publicis 57 handled U.S. media and Zeno Group public relations and creators. Heinz is targeting Gen Z consumers on TikTok and Instagram to promote the new drops and build anticipation for ones coming down the pike. A microsite with more information and a memory game could help the brand capture valuable first-party data from interested consumers.
Heinz recently unified its global creative strategy for the first time in its over 150-year history. The “It Has to be Heinz” platform honors fans’ “irrational love” for its products — a love that Heinz is likely hoping to inspire with its latest condiment creations.